Can You Make Money Garage Sale Flipping? 5 Best Tactics!

garage sale flipping

You may have heard of garage sale flipping and questioned its legitimacy. Can you really make a profit from all that junk in your garage?

You can make a significant amount of money from garage sale flipping. Some readers have reportedly earned up to forty thousand dollars in one year through garage flipping. Other approaches to flipping include gathering merchandise from auctions, thrift stores, and Facebook marketplace.

What if no-one buys your items and you lose money? 

Have no fear… this article outlines how to make sure your attempt at garage sale flipping is a raving success!

Garage sale flipping doesn’t require any previous experience. By following the below strategies, you’re guaranteed to make more money garage sale flipping than you did before! Let’s take a look…

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5 Strategies For Garage Sale Flipping

Garage sale flipping could be your gateway to bigger things.

You could use your profits to make money online or to build an investment porfolio. It’s also a great way to perfect the art of haggling… and learn about business in general. 

Here are some great ways to make money garage sale flipping. There are of course many more options, these are just our favorites!

1 & 2 - Buy Supplies At Home Sales

When people move or sell estates, they often get rid of their old stuff. This can mean that furniture and other items are sold at relatively low prices. Which means more profit for you!

Often, these unneeded items are sold through garage sales. And if you purchase an item at a garage sale and improve it, you can make good money.

1. Sales Where “Everything Needs To Be Sold”

– Estate Sales

garage sale flipping

A great place to acquire stock for garage sale flipping is an estate sale.

Estate sales occur for many reasons. Often, estate sales are held because sadly, a family member passed away and the family needs to sell the house.

If someone is holding an estate sale it is often run similarly to a traditional garage sale, just on a much larger scale. Usually, everything in the estate is fair game and rarely has a set price.

The benefit to an estate sale is that you can find nicer and more valuable items than you would with a sale just getting rid of old junk. You can also usually get estate-sale items for a great price if you know how to barter.

– Moving Sales

Similar to estate sales, those who host moving sales want to get rid of everything, and there are often great deals!

If you’ve ever moved houses or apartments, you know how frustrating getting everything from one place to another can be. Because of this, people who are moving usually prioritize getting rid of as much as they can, and they only hope to make some cash on the side.

This leaves a tasty profit margin for you!

2. Selective Sales

– Garage Sales

A traditional garage sale is also a great place to find items to flip. One benefit to the garage sale approach is that garage sales happen often.

After all, how often do you see an impromptu garage sale on your street? 

One detriment to garage sales is that people who hold them usually are not looking to just get rid of everything – they want to make a profit. They will charge what they think the items are worth and will likely avoid haggling. 

If you go to both garage and estate sales, you will be able to flip and sell more items.

Pretty soon you’ll find yourself constantly scanning your surroundings for hidden deals. This is a sign you’re becoming a garage sale flipping pro!

3. Buying in Stores

– Thrift Stores

Before buying stock at thrift stores, make sure you’re going to the right kind.

Thrift stores are becoming increasingly popular and the prices are increasing.

That laidback hipster clothing vibe is no longer the cheap option.

Thanks Macklemore. 

If you’re buying a table for $20 or a couch for $200, you’re at the wrong place. Though they may be good deals, you probably won’t make much profit if you flip them.

If you can find family-owned stores, you will likely be able to negotiate and find items for a low price. Sometimes if you want to buy an untagged item, you can ask if you can have it for a certain price.

If your price is at least somewhat reasonable, they’ll probably agree to it.

– Flea Markets

Flea markets are similar to thrift stores in the sense that they are a place where second-hand goods are sold.

Like most traditional markets, flea markets offer an opportunity to haggle for lower prices. And you should haggle hard!

Flea markets are usually annual, so you can’t purchase items from them consistently. However, you can purchase many great items at a low price at flea markets. Sellers at flea markets are typically willing to negotiate.

4. Negotiation Tactics

  • Be the first one there.

If it’s a scheduled event such as a garage sale, moving sale, or a flea market, show up before it opens. You want to be the first one there so you can have your pick of items!

Last thing you need is Gary V rocking up and spoiling your fun. 

  • Never settle for a price you’re dissatisfied with.

Always try to see if you can lower the price. This especially applies to events like moving sales or flea markets, where it’s the seller’s only chance to get rid of everything. This limited amount of time makes sellers more likely to sell items at lower prices.

Sounds a bit mean – but you’re here to make money, not friends.

Our preferred price-lowering strategy is to shoot for a higher discount than you expect to get. For example, if you’re trying to purchase a sofa, tell the seller you’ll buy it for 20% off the actual price. They’ll likely counter with 10%, and you can secure a 15-18% discount (Source).

The seller might even just agree to take off 20% – result!

  • Only pay with cash.

Carry cash when you’re bartering rather than a debit or credit card.

Carry smaller bills, and make sure you have plenty of $1 bills. Sellers likely will not give you change, so make sure you save every penny by having plenty of $1 bills.

Don’t leave yourself open to the old “round it up to that $20” game.

By only carrying cash, you will also look like you have a limited amount of money to spend and make negotiation easier. Paying with a card makes it seem like you have a large amount of money to spend.

5. Tips For Maximizing Sale Profit

  • Item Display

If you’re selling your items online for profit, make sure you have plenty of angles and descriptions. Don’t leave it up to the buyers to contact you for details – most won’t!

Providing rich detail also reassures people that they’re not being scammed. Conversely, posting stock photos from google is a bright red flag!

If you’re selling in person, make sure your items are in top condition. Make your item look like something you would personally want to keep. A little bit of polish or TLC goes a long way!

  • Setting a Price

A good rule of thumb for garage sale flippers is to sell your item for $10-$20 more than what you paid. This is where you will make all of your profit, so never let anything sell for less than $5 over what you paid for it.

The only exception to this rule is if you can shift items in volume. Making $5 a pop when the seller take 50-items is certainly worth your while. 

This is why selling small collectibles like marbles, coins and pokemon cards has risen in popularity. Which takes me on to my next tip…

  • Stay Trendy

You’ll soon develop a feel for what’s trendy and what’s… not. Those who get in early are the ones making big money.

Take pokemon cards, their value has exploded. Many savvy garage sale flippers have picked up whole collections for pennies, before selling single cards for thousands.


There you have it; garage sale flipping 101. 

We could talk about this for hours, but it’s time for you to go and make that money!

But is garage sale flipping still worth the time investment?

I used to spend every weekend garage sale flipping – and made a tidy profit. Truthfully, nowadays there is more money to be made online!

But think of garage sale flipping as a way to build your nest egg. Once you have a small amount saved up, invest in building passive income streams or starting your very own WordPress blog.

Online business has more longevity than garage sale flipping and has much higher earning potential. You can also do both to maximise your earnings. 

For some online inspo, try:

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